05 January 2011 by Chris Marais

The Silver Creek Mountain Band

You don’t get many 40-year-old bands in this world. The Beatles couldn’t make it, the Stones are an exception.

So, too, is one of South Africa’s old-time music legends, the Silver Creek Mountain Band. The Creek has played open air concerts of 100 000-plus, and indoor shows where only the hotel dog has pitched. No problem to these boys. They’re professionals, and they will play through the night’s repertoire anyhow.

This folksy, bluegrass band has had many singers and players in their midst. The constant through all the years has been Rod Dry, that bearded old barefoot Wookie with the double bass and the deep voice.

Silver Creek Mountain Band rolls off the tongue quite easy these days. Everyone remembers them from somewhere. But back in the 1970s, they were called everything from Silver Creek Mountain Goat Band to the Silver Greek Mountain Band. No problem - the music stayed the same.

The boys were passing through the Karoo Midlands recently, on their way to Bathurst for their Christmas - New Year engagements. They stopped over in Cradock for a gig at the Victoria Manor and blew the collective socks off the joint. Locals and overnighters on their way to the coast loved their lineup, presence and the pure magic of absolutely no backtrax - just acoustic instruments.

Could this mean - and I hold my breath here - a return to real music?

The lead singer in the Creek, JP Fuess, has a voice pitched somewhere between Cat Stevens and Springsteen. Rod’s son Shuggy plays lead guitar and the boss stands constant behind his giant old double bass.

Down here in the backwoods, we’re all working really hard to ensnare the Silver Creek Mountain Band to come and settle in our midst. Wish us luck, amigos…

Category: Culture & History

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